"The Best Year in European History”: Timothy Garton Ash on 1989

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By Zachary Tarrant and The German Marshall Fund of the United States. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Extraordinary things happened in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell. Europe finally came close to being “whole and free.” But that was not where history ended. The subsequent rise of an “anti-liberal counterrevolution” showed that the liberal internationalists’ agenda was far from bullet-proof. The tipping point, according to historian Timothy Garton Ash, was Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution—when Putin woke up and found the West at his door.

Renowned historian Garton Ash joins “Out of Order” for a reflection on the legacy of Europe’s not-so-distant history: what the West got so wrong, China’s 1989 connection, and whether a liberal agenda is viable in today’s politics.

This episode was taped as GMF’s Brussels Forum. A transcribed version of the discussion is also published online as part of GMF’s 1989 publication. A second episode on 1989’s technological legacy will be released next month.

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